Wheaton North junior receives Gettysburg Address essay award

WHEATON – Wheaton North High School junior Grace Richards was recently named one of the winners of a large scholarship commemorating the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Richards remembers memorizing the speech when she was a seventh grader at Franklin Middle School, she said in a Community Unit School District 200 news release.

More than 1,300 essayists submitted their reflections on the speech using 272 words – the same number Lincoln used in his brief but historic address. The winners were selected by the Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

Richards said that she was honored to be a part of celebrating the history of the speech.

“Lincoln was such a powerful orator and I feel special that I was able to honor him through my writing,” she said in the release.

Her winning essay garnered a $2,500 scholarship. It will be on display with the other winners at the Presidential Library in Springfield and will remain in the library’s permanent archives, the release said.